On the Holy Spirit. Against the Followers of Macedonius. 1 Macedonius had been a very eminent Semi-Arian doctor. He was deposed from the See of Constantinople, A.D. 360: and it was actually the influence of the Eunomians that brought this about. He went into exile and formed his sect. He considered the Holy Spirit as “a divine energy diffused throughout the universe: and not a person distinct from the Father and the Son” (Socrates, H. E. iv. 4). This opinion had many partizans in the Asiatic provinces, “but,” says Mosheim, “the Council of Constantinople crushed it.” However, that the final clauses of the Nicene Creed which express distinctly, amongst other truths, the deity and personality of the Third Person of the Trinity were added at that Council to the original form, is extremely doubtful. For—1. We find the expanded form which we now use in the Nicene Creed, in a work written by Epiphanius seven years before the Council of Constantinople. So that at all events the enlarged Creed was not prepared by the Fathers then assembled. 2. It is extremely doubtful if any symbol at all was set forth at Constantinople. Neither Socrates, nor Sozomen, nor Theodoret makes mention of one: but all speak of adherence to the evangelic faith ratified at Nicæa. It is significant too that the expanded form was entirely ignored by the Council of Ephesus, 431. But at the Council of Chalcedon, 451, it was brought forward: though even then it appears that it was far from attaining general acceptance. By 540 it had become the accepted form (according to a letter of Pope Vigilius). “It seems most likely therefore that it was a profession received amongst the churches in the patriarchate of Constantinople, but at first not more widely circulated” (J. R. Lumby, Commentary on Prayer-Book, S. P. C. K., p. 66) F. J. A. Hort, however, (see Two Dissertations by) regards this “Constantinopolitan” Creed as the old Creed of Jerusalem enlarged and expanded; and he suggests that S. Cyril of Jerusalem may have produced it before the Council, which gave it some sort of approval. The addition, moreover, of the later clauses was not, as Mosheim seems to imagine, the only difference between the Nicene Creed and this Creed. That this lateness of accepted definition on a vital point should not excite our wonder, Neander shows “the apprehension of the idea (of the ὁμοούσιον of the Holy Spirit) had been so little permeated as yet by the Christian consciousness of the unity of God, that Gregory of Nazianzum could still say in 380, ‘Some of our theologians consider the Holy Spirit to be a certain mode of the Divine energy, others a creature of God, others God Himself. Others say they do not know which opinion they ought to accept, out of reverence for the Scriptures which have not clearly explained this point.’ Hilary of Poictiers says in his own original way that ‘he was well aware that nothing could be foreign to God’s nature, which searches into the deep things of that nature. Should one be displeased at being told that He exists by and through Him, by and from Whom are all things, that He is the Spirit of God, but also God’s gift to believers, then will the apostles and prophets displease him; for they affirm only that He exists.’” There can be little doubt, however, that Gregory, in the following fragment, is defending a statement already in existence. He seems even to follow the order of the words, “Lord and giver of Life.” “Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified.” Doubtless the next clause, “Who spake by the Prophets,” was dealt with in what is lost. But, essentially a creed-maker as he was, his claim to have himself added these final clauses cannot be substantiated. For the mss. of this treatise, see p. 31.
[ΓΡΗΓΟΡΙΟΥ ΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΟΥ ΝΥΣΣΗΣ] ΠΕΡΙ ΤΟΥ ΑΓΙΟΥ ΠΝΕΥΜΑΤΟΣ ΚΑΤΑ ΜΑΚΕΔΟΝΙΑΝΩΝ ΤΩΝ ΠΝΕΥΜΑΤΟΜΑΧΩΝ